September’s the end of summer vacation season, its back to school for kids, and it’s also National Preparedness Month, an observance of the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. And this is an important time for Flagger Force, since our team works to keep communities moving, safely and efficiently, regardless of what challenges may arise. This is a team that likes to be prepared and knows how to do it!

National Preparedness Month- What is it?

National Preparedness Month is an effort to raise awareness of the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. In 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered with the Ad Council to run a national campaign to raise awareness about preparedness. And while disasters and emergencies can happen at any time, September is when we focus on this.

For the Flagger Force team, weather-related emergencies hit especially close to home because they’re relatively common and they immediately affect outdoor work and the flow of traffic through our communities. These may include heat waves, hurricanes, floods, snow or other forms of extreme weather like ice storms.

How to Be Prepared for Weather-Related Emergencies

Being prepared for an emergency comes down to two main steps: 1) making a plan, and 2) gathering emergency supplies. These may differ slightly based on where you live and what you’re preparing for. As an example, preparing for a hurricane is different than preparing for a snowstorm. But let’s look at these two steps.

Making Your Plan: First, it’s important to work collaboratively with your family to make the plan. Also, you need to think about the fact that you might not all be together when the emergency happens. So start by answering these questions:

  • How will you get emergency alerts and weather updates? There are a variety of alerts you can sign upfor, but also remember that during some emergencies cell coverage can be spotty and power can be out.
  • What’s your shelter plan? This may mean staying home, going to a mass shelter or sheltering in place. You plan will depend on what type of emergency you’re faced with and when it’s happening.
  • What is your evacuation route? Think about where you’ll go, how you’ll get there and where you’ll stay. Also, if you have pets, they need to be considered.
  • How will you communicate with your family? When an emergency strikes, you may not be all together and you’ll need to communicate and coordinate. Think this through in advance.

For more on preparation, visit to review details on each of the questions above.

Emergency Preparedness Kit: Having the right supplies on hand will enable you and your family to function well during an emergency. This means preparing for a situation where you’re confined in place for several days without power, water or working heat or air conditioning. So to be prepared you’ll need adequate water, food and other essential supplies.

Having access to water is a high priority and you should prepare to have one gallon per-person, per-day for drinking and sanitation. Nutrition is next and you should have several days-worth of non-perishable food. You’ll also want to prepare for any special medical conditions that need to be managed; if you and your family are sheltering at home, do you have enough prescription medications for several days?

Ready to build your emergency supply kit? Here’s a complete list of materials.

Emergency preparedness items laid out on tailgate

Take it From the Professionals…

Flagger Force is committed to being prepared for emergencies so the team prepares and rehearses for severe weather events. Here’s the blueprint.

  • Storm Leadership Team: Preparedness starts with clear leadership and Flagger Force accomplishes this by naming leaders and empowering them to make decisions at the operational level during the emergency.
  • Cross-Functional Communications: When an emergency strikes, the whole organization needs the agility to move as one. That happens by communicating across departments inside and outside the company.
  • 24/7 Operations Services Center: This is the place where the leadership team works and assigns assets as they’re needed. Another power line goes down? Check. The message comes in, field assets are identified, and a team is dispatched. Its centralized, its responsive, and it works.

“Storm response provides Flagger Force with an opportunity to test our emergency preparedness. It allows us to evaluate the needs of our clients as well as our business in hopes that we can successfully assist our utility partners and communities,” said Austin Mowery, client services manager.

Take it from Flagger Force, preparation and practice is what makes an emergency manageable. So, now’s a good time to check your supplies, stock up, talk with your family, and feel secure that you have a plan if disaster strikes. And you can also feel secure that the Flagger Force team will be ready to keep communities moving through rain, sleet, hail, or whatever mother nature throws at us.

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